Rev. Gayle Tucker

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Pastor Gayle grew up in the First Congregational UCC in Janesville, Wisconsin, where her family was involved in music, children and youth ministries, and leadership positions. Her parents continue to be very involved in the church. The congregation and many of the adults and peers she met at youth events have been and continue to be an extended family and support system for her. This was particularly true when she came out as queer (from the pulpit!) and while she was attending United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities and searching for a pastoral call.

Gayle graduated from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. While working toward a degree in music education she discovered a passion for academic religious studies and eventually added a religion minor to her degree. These courses, along with participation in music organizations at the college and attendance at the local UCC church, were significant in her continuing faith development. Most significant in discovering and discerning her call to ministry, though, was her summers working at Pilgrim Center in Green Lake, Wisconsin. This gave her a chance to explore various elements of ministry including teaching, worship design and leadership, pastoral care, and programs, as well as her own development as an individual and a person of faith. She continues to have very strong connections to outdoor ministries in Wisconsin.

Pastor Gayle began serving CCJPUCC in February 2010. She loves designing and leading worship, working to build each service around central themes or ideas based on the scripture for the week. She continues to use her music education background, singing in the choir and selecting music for worship and Bible studies. She enjoys the challenge of bringing together music, the written word, and visual arts in worship and study, with the hope of engaging as many people in as many ways as possible.

During her rest and sabbath time, Gayle likes to snuggle with her spaniels, Bonnie and Clyde, listen to her corgi Marvin snore, do arts and crafts, and photograph “pretties” (which can include anything from beams of sunlight to moss and lichen.) She also works to keep in touch with her parents in Wisconsin, her siblings, their spouses, and her nieces in the Carolinas, and cousins and friends scattered around the country. She sincerely thanks God for social media and texting, which make it much easier for her to stay connected to family and friends all over the world.